REA welcomes Imperial College report

The Renewable Energy Association has welcomed today’s report from Imperial College London which argues that carbon pricing on its own is not enough to attract adequate investment in renewables.

The paper, entitled On picking winners: The need for targeted support for renewable energy, written by Dr Robert Goss of Imperial College, dismisses carbon pricing only as ‘simplistic’ and ‘absurd’ without accompanying feed-in tariff incentives and subsidy of low carbon projects.

The report notes that increasing carbon pricing would do little to encourage low carbon investment and only serve to make energy bills unnecessarily high for the consumer. To achieve a technology neutral environment in which renewable technologies can properly compete with fossil fuels on price, subsidy is needed to drive costs down.

The report also calls for an end to fossil fuel and nuclear power subsidies in order to fund investment in renewables research and development.

Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the REA, said: “This report is a welcome contribution to the debate, and extremely timely. The Renewable Energy Association strives for a future where renewables compete on an equal basis with other technologies, in a market where the costs of carbon are fully priced. However, as the report acknowledges, we are a long way from that at present. To quote from the executive summary ‘fossil fuels are more often subsidised than taxed.’

“Well designed, targeted support is therefore essential and provides great value. Carbon saving is not the only reason for doing renewables. Renewables also help with energy security and help us keep more money circulating in the UK economy as opposed to sending it overseas to pay for energy imports. Renewables also create more jobs, and have other benefits such as improving waste management practices.”

The Imperial College report can be read in full by clicking here.